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Donald Trump's cash crisis just got worse

Donald Trump's cash crisis just got worse


As Donald Trump's legal problems consume more and more of his time, they also consume more of his donors' money and there's a huge hole in the bucket.

On Tuesday, the Trump leadership Save America political action committee reported raising just $8,508 from donors in all of January, while spending about $3.9 million, according to a new filing filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Nearly $3 million of those total expenses were used for one purpose: paying the lawyers.

At the same time, the Trump campaign itself reported a net loss of more than $2.6 million for the month of January. He raised about $8.8 million while spending about $11.5 million, according to a separate filing made public Tuesday.

The documents reveal that Trump continues to waste donor funds as he struggles to fuel two massive cash leaks, astronomical legal fees stemming from numerous civil cases and four criminal indictments, and the costs of a national presidential campaign.

After Trump's filings were released Tuesday night, his sole primary challenger, Nikki Haley, showed a sign of strength, with her campaign bringing in $11.5 million in revenue last month. This is the first-ever fundraising period in which Haley's campaign has outperformed Trump.

Despite reporting virtually no donations in January, the Save America PACa group that Trump launched days after the 2020 election, ostensibly to fund legal challenges, actually increased its bottom line by more than a million dollars, ending the month with nearly $6.3 million on hand.

However, this increase cannot be attributed to new donations. That's entirely due to a $5 million transfer from another pro-Trump super PAC, which is still paying off the $60 million the former president claimed last year as his bills legal entities threatened to put Save America, its legal slush fund. , bankrupt.

The super PAC repaid this in $5 million installments starting late last spring, but this emergency bailout will not last, or full repayment is expected to be completed by June.

There's another indicator of the extent of Trump's financial woes: Save America itself had to bail out another of Trump's PACs, transferring $500,000 to his former campaign committee in mid-January. This group, called Make America Great Again PAC, started the year with only about $570,000 in the bank, so the mid-month injection of Save America's sputtering suggests that MAGA PAC may very well be in danger as well. hit the bottom.

A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As he begins his third consecutive presidential campaign, it's safe to say that Trump's financial apparatus is complicated.

Right now, the Save America PAC exists almost exclusively to cover the former president's legal bills, but Trump also needs to fund his political campaign. It does this by raising most of its money through a joint fundraising committee, which automatically distributes the profits. 90 percent goes to the campaign, with Save America cleaning up the remaining 10 percent, according to online solicitations.

Last month, however, the joint fundraising committee sent no money to Save America, according to the latest filings, although it transferred about $8.5 million to the Trump campaign. That suggests Save America could still have as much as $850,000 left from January's fundraising efforts, a drop in the ocean, given the ferocious burn rate of these legal fees.

Trump's cash crisis comes at a terrible time. Recent weeks have seen two massive judgments against the former president. First there was the sum of $83.3 million for the writer E. Jean Carroll, whom he was convicted of sexual abuse and defamation; this was followed a few weeks later by a whopping $355 million fine for years of business fraud in New York.

With interest and other costs, these two decisions alone could cost Trump as much as $600 million.

Although Trump is a billionaire, his choice to pass on his legal fees to his donors threatens to derail the Republican Party's national fundraising efforts. Trump is now trying to take control of the Republican National Committee, placing MAGA loyalists and even his own daughter-in-law in the upper echelons of party leadership.

The Daily Beast previously reported that these self-serving maneuvers could seriously constrain the RNC as the national party struggles to unify behind its beleaguered standard-bearer during a monumental election cycle.

But Trump can't raise money from the party until he officially secures the nomination, which could happen as early as March. And an analysis of Trump's campaign spending last month shows the primary race is taking its toll, even though that contest has focused solely on Haley.

The campaign's largest item in January was the nearly $4.7 million spent on media placement, which represents television ad spending. About $820,000 more was spent on audiovisual support at events, $602,000 on video production, nearly $550,000 on travel costs and more than $450,000 on survey services.

The campaign also paid about $15,000 for teleprompter services, a sharp increase in recent months as Trump held rallies to shore up his support as the primary election began. However, aside from these direct political costs, the campaign's biggest expense was the $830,000 it also spent on lawyers.




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